On Monday in front of a nationally televised audience on NBC’s TODAY show and features two now five-time Olympians, one four-time Olympian, one three-time Olympian, two who will be competing in their second Olympics and six who will step on the Olympic court for the first time this summer.
Team selections for the six-time defending Olympic gold medalists USA were made by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee and pending approval by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.
Headlining the team are longtime USA National Team members Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), who each donned a USA Basketball jersey for the first time in 2000 and own a combined eight Olympic and seven FIBA World Cup gold medals, and three-time Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx), who also captured gold at the 2010 FIBA World Cup.
Expecting to play in a third Olympic Games is Tina Charles (Washington Mystics), a three-time World Cup gold medalist; while 2016 Olympic gold medalists Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury) and Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm), each of whom have captured at two World Cup gold medals, return to chase a second Olympic gold in Tokyo.
Two athletes who are pursuing their first Olympic gold medal and who already own a FIBA World Cup gold medal are Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm) and A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces).
Stepping onto the world stage for the first time at a FIBA senior-level five-on-five competition will be Ariel Atkins (Washington Mystics), Napheesa Collier (Minnesota Lynx), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix Mercury) and Chelsea Gray (Las Vegas Aces).
“USA Basketball has never been in a better place,” said U.S. Olympic Team head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina), who claimed three gold medals as an athlete and helped guide two more Olympic teams to gold as an assistant coach. “I’m honored to be the coach of such an amazing collection of talented women, both those named to the team and those who gave their all the last few years but won’t be with us in Tokyo. The fact that some of the players who won’t suit up this summer would start for any other country is a testament to their talent and to what USA Basketball has done to build a program that lifts up our female athletes every single day. “
The XXXII Olympic Games women’s basketball competition will be held July 26-Aug. 8 at the Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan.